Dodge Chili Bowl Nationals Entry Count Swells to 257
TULSA, Okla. (December 14, 2007) -- With the biggest Bowl event of the season set to kick off in less than four weeks, the entry count for the 22nd Annual Dodge Chili Bowl Nationals has climbed to near-record territory with 257 entries filed as of the close of business on Friday.
With more entries expected as the pre-entry deadline of December 15 is reached this weekend, last year's record count of 267 competitors for the prestigious, indoor, dirt-track racing event is expected to be rivaled.
The 22nd edition of the Dodge Chili Bowl Nationals is set to unfold over the course of five nights, from January 8-12, 2008, atop the 1/4-mile Tulsa Expo Raceway inside what is now dubbed the QuikTrip Center, known familiarly for years as the Tulsa Expo Center.
The complete, current list of official pre-entries for the 22nd Annual Dodge Chili Bowl Nationals is available at www.chilibowl.com/2008chilibowlentries.asp.
22nd Annual Dodge Chili Bowl Nationals Pre-Entry Notes:
Back-to-Back: Through the first 21 years of the Dodge Chili Bowl Nationals, no driver has ever topped the event in back-to-back years. NASCAR star Tony Stewart will have a second chance to repeat after winning last year's Chili Bowl. After his first Bowl triumph in 2002, "Smoke" scored a third place finish in 2003.
States: The field for the 22nd Annual Dodge Chili Bowl Nationals is not only national, but international as well with drivers from 25 different states as well as Australia and Canada represented among the current 257 entries.
California leads the way with 55 entries. States represented among the current entries are as follows: Arkansas (3), Arizona (10), California (55), Colorado (7), Georgia (1), Illinois (28), Indiana (28), Iowa (3), Kansas (6), Missouri (16), Minnesota (1), Nebraska (3), New Jersey (3), New York (2), North Carolina (1), Ohio (7), Oklahoma (26), Pennsylvania (8), Tennessee (2), Texas (11), Virginia (2), Washington (2), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (9), Wyoming (1). One driver from New South Wales in Australia is entered (Mark Brown) and one driver from Ontario in Canada is entered (Glenn Styres). Nineteen entries have drivers to be determined.
Past Winners: Five past Chili Bowl winners have already entered, including Tony Stewart, Sammy Swindell, Cory Kruseman, Tracy Hines and Johnny Heydenreich. The entry from 2006 Chili Bowl champion Tim McCreadie is expected in the coming days.
Diversity: The field represents a wide variety of racing disciplines, including NASCAR, ARCA, winged Sprint Cars, wingless Sprint Cars, Midgets, Late Models, DIRT Modifieds, Modifieds, Micros and more.
Newman Out and Meyers In: Due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts, Ryan Newman has been forced to relinquish his seat aboard Corey Tucker's No. 39 entry. Taking the ride will be World of Outlaws Sprint Car shoe Jason Meyers, who finished the 2007 season on a strong note with a $20,000 triumph in I-30 Speedway's Short Track Nationals and then the overall victory in Thunderbowl Speedway's Trophy Cup.
Feature Starters: Fifty-six of the entered drivers have started at least one Chili Bowl championship main event in the past. Tops on the list is four-time Chili Bowl kingpin Sammy Swindell with 15 main event starts, followed by Danny Lasoski (14), Kevin Olson (10) and Tony Stewart, Tracy Hines and Jason Leffler (each with 9).
Rookies: Fifty-two of the currently entered drivers are embarking upon their first Dodge Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. Notables among the Rookie crop include 18-year-old Hunter Schuerenberg (aboard a Yeley-owned entry), Justin Marks (finished fifth in ARCA points), Jerrod Wilson (won multiple Golden Driller trophies in Micro action at the Tulsa Shootout), Kevin Ramey (two-time ASCS Sooner Region champion), Blake Miller (ninth in USAC/CRA points), George White (Cowtown Speedway sprint car champion), Eric Heydenreich (ARDC runner-up), Justin Grant (17-year-old BCRA Midget champion), Bob Ream, Jr. (past Arizona state Sprint Car champion), Jerry Higbie, Jr. (DIRT Modified ace), Gary Scelzi (past NHRA champion), Jeff Bland, Jr. (National Non-Wing Rookie of the Year and Bloomington Speedway track champion), Brad Sweet (first time aboard Kasey Kahne midget), Ryan Smith (ARDC Rookie of the Year) and Andrew Felker (30 micro wins in 2007 including $10,000-to-win Non-Wing Nationals in Nebraska).
What: 22nd Annual Dodge Chili Bowl Midget Nationals
Where: Tulsa Expo Raceway -- 1/4-mile clay oval inside the QuikTrip Center (formerly known as Tulsa Exposition Center) at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds
January 8-12, 2008
Tuesday -- Pre-Qualifying Night
Wednesday - Creek Nation Casino Qualifying Night
Thursday -- Warren CAT Qualifying Night
Friday -- O'Reilly Qualifying Night
Saturday -- Bass Pro Shops Championship Saturday Feature Events